Israeli Court Extends Solitary Confinement of Ahmad Manasra

Several human rights groups condemned the verdict. Amnesty said it is cruel and legitimizes torture.

Beer Sheeva District Court. (CC BY 2.5, Wikimedia Commons)

By Peoples Dispatch

On Tuesday, an Israeli court in Beer Sheva refused to end the solitary confinement of 21-year-old Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Manasra despite his serious mental and physical health condition.

This was a day after an Israeli military court rejected Palestinian prisoner Khalid Awawdeh’s appeal for release from administrative detention.

The verdict in the Beer Sheva district court means that Manasra will have to live in isolation in jail until Nov. 21, completing a full year in solitary confinement as he has already completed six months in solitary confinement in May. 

The Israeli court refused to consider the recommendations of psychological experts and appeals by Manasra’s advocate that further isolation in jail would lead to a further deterioration of his mental health while staying with his fellow Palestinian prisoners would help him recover better.  

Several human rights groups including Amnesty International condemned the court’s verdict in Manasra’s case. The court’s verdict “legitimizes torture” and is “cruel,” Amnesty said. 

Manasra was arrested when he was 13 years old for allegedly being involved in a stabbing incident in Jerusalem in 2016. At the time of his arrest, he was critically wounded by Israeli settlers who ran him over with a vehicle which fractured his skull. Manasra’s cousin was shot dead by an Israeli settler during the stabbing incident. 

Though Israeli authorities failed to establish Manasra’s involvement in the stabbing incident, he was still sentenced to 12 years in prison, which was later revised to nine years.  

Manasra was allegedly tortured and abused in prison when he was just 15 years old, which led to the development of schizophrenia, according to a certificate issued by a doctor from Doctors without Borders in 2021, Al Jazeera reported.

Khaled Zabarqa, Manasra’s lawyer, said in a statement to the media that the court’s verdict has no legal basis and placing Manasra in solitary confinement doubles his punishment for a crime he did not commit. 

In March, the Palestine Global Mental Health Network launched a campaign for Manasra’s release. In a statement, the network said, “Ahmad has been subjected to continuous punishment and abuse, multiple physical, psychological and social torture, including deprivation from family connectivity, visits and communication with his parents and brothers, and recent solidarity confinement.”  

Meanwhile, an Israeli military court on Monday rejected the appeal for release of Palestinian prisoner Khalid Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for more than 167 days now. His lawyers have now decided to file an appeal at the Israeli Supreme Court for his release from administrative detention. Awawdeh had to be admitted to a hospital last week due to his deteriorating health.

Awawdeh was arrested in December last year and has been under administrative detention since then. Awawdeh, like several other Palestinian political prisoners, started his hunger strike to demand his release and expose the illegality of the Israeli administrative detention policy. 

The policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli state to detain Palestinians for an indefinite period without any charge or trial, which is considered illegal under international law.

This article is from Peoples Dispatch.

4 comments for “Israeli Court Extends Solitary Confinement of Ahmad Manasra

  1. Tables will turn
    August 18, 2022 at 23:53

    The day when the tables will turn is coming. Woe unto the zionists that day!!!

  2. Bob M
    August 18, 2022 at 21:49

    More disgusting criminality and human rights abuse from Israel, the 51st state (the UK is the 52nd). All of a piece with pervasive US ruling class sadism and crimes against humanity.

  3. Lubomir Kolev
    August 18, 2022 at 18:19

    I don’t know of other ethnicities with this innate cruelty!!! And the whole world silently watches. What kind of people inhabit this Planet?

  4. Georges Olivier Daudelin
    August 18, 2022 at 14:06

    Israël est strictement un État fantoche golem de Washington; c’est un État fasciste.

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